On the first session of my Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage class, I will often tell the participants that while they will hear exactly the same thing from me, read the same material, and participate in the same exercises, their attitude will determine how much they will benefit from the training. As Lou Holtz says, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
Positive mental attitude is so important that Laurence Gonzales, contributing editor for National Geographic and author of the book Deep Survival, states that in AirForce Survival Training and in Military Bootcamp, “Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)” is the first item on the checklist. He says that PMA is the single most critical factor in determining who survives and who dies.
And there’s no doubt: maintaining a positive mental attitude allows us to recognize the opportunities in every situation.
And so as we embark on the New Year, let me leave you with a quick story:
A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat. “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” he announced. Then, he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed.
“Strrrrriiiiiiike One!” he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down he swung again and missed. “Strrrrrriiiiiiike Two!” he cried.
The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed. “Strrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiike Three!”
“Wow!” he exclaimed. “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”